Corcovado National Park is one of the most “biologically intense places on earth” according to National Geographic. The Costa Rican government takes great care to ensure Corcovado forest and its inhabitants are well protected by limiting daily foot traffic into the park. Extra planning is advised if Corcovado National Park is one of your destinations while in Costa Rica and it should be.
Accessing Corcovado from Drake Bay requires a half day hike or a 20 minute boat ride. We are avid hikers but due to time constraints, we chose the boat ride.
While hiking in the park we spotted all four species of monkeys that live in the park including the Howler monkey, white faced Capuchin monkey, spider monkey and squirrel monkey.
We also observed crocodiles, black hawks and a tapir
which is closely related to the horse. The Coati, which is a vivacious ground animal closely related to the raccoon, freely scampered around us as they snacked on berries from a bush. The one sloth that made himself visible was busy sleeping high up in a tree as he had already come down to eat earlier in the day. While macaw sightings were frequent, one never tires of its’ vibrant colors and
familiar sound. Of course there was an abundance of tropical flora and fauna. Corcovado National Park is truly special and should not be missed.
The most convenient place to stay near Corcovado is Drake Bay which is on the Osa Peninsula. We stayed at Pirate Cove, an all inclusive locally owned and operated hotel that was modest and clean. Many of the eco-hotels, which was our priority, included all meals or just two which would allow more exploring of local restaurants. We advised the staff beforehand of our vegan meal preference and found our meals to be carefully planned to provide interest, flavor, and variety. Costa Ricans rely on a diet which utilizes all the tropical fruits, lush green vegetables, as well as root vegetables typically found in Central America. Dinner often consisted of Gallo Pinto or some other legume, which was served with plantains, yucca, and a salad. Fresh topical fruit such as mango, pineapple, and papaya was served with every meal. The covered dining area is open to the beautiful views of the cove framed by tropical trees and lush vegetation. It is communal style dining and we enjoyed interesting conversations with visitors from Germany, France, Belgium, and the US.
From San Jose airport we flew Nature Air on a 12 passenger twin-engine plane to Drake Bay which is one of Costa Rica’s most isolated destinations. I have to admit, I felt quite squeamish about flying on such a small aircraft. I sat directly behind the co-pilot and let’s just say, we were so close that I knew what he had for lunch! To my surprise, our flight to Drake Bay was a pleasant addition to the adventure. From Drake Bay, we were able to access Corcovado National Park.